New things.

I’ve been trying some new things.

New styles, new recipes, new habits.

One of those habits being deleting all the pictures off of my camera more frequently, which has now caused me to lose some pictures that I forgot to upload…so enjoy some lovely cell phone pictures instead. The ones I had were actually quite, good, but I guess it’s the recipes that count rather than the pictures, and trust me they. are. good.

Anyway, this is a hodgepodge post, from recipes, to nail polish. All new things.

Cookie Dough Brownies : These are wonderful. I first saw them here. I will for sure be making these again, and I know my roommates will dislike me for it. And, as you can tell, this was one of the items that suffered from the deleting of pictures, so bear with me, as this is the only picture I have left of it. The fact that there are no more brownies left should be enough for you to make them.

4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat the eggs, oil and sugar. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, coffee and salt; gradually add to egg mixture. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until brownies toothpick test done. Cool.

Cookie Dough Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread over brownies (works best to just press out with clean hands.); chill until firm.

2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, until smooth. Spread over filling.

Dress with a School I’ve never done before. This was for sweet Caroline, she just graduated from Plano Senior High and will be attending OSU in the fall. You can see more of my designs, here.

Beef Empanadas. I told y’all I would venture out of my cupcaking ways with my cupcake maker here, but now I’ve actually done it.

Cook beef, onion, and garlic together in a skillet over medium until browned; drain, then stir in seasonings and salsa. Cut the pie crusts with the tools given with the Babycakes cupcake maker and place on the griddle.  Spoon in beef mixture and cheese. Bake for about 8 minutes. This recipe is for one batch of 8 empanadas.

1/4 ground beef

1 TBS garlic powder or 1/4 cup of minced onion

1 tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

a pinch of salt and pepper

1/3 cup of salsa

1 package of pie crusts; should include 2

1/3 cup of Colby Jack cheese

O.P.I. Holiday 2011 Collection.  It’s no secret that I love O.P.I. nail polish. I confessed my love here. Recently they released their Holiday 2011 Collection and it is Muppets to collaborate with the new movie coming out. I’m kind of disappointed that Amy Adams is in it. I was all excited when I saw the preview and then when the Muppets came out I rolled my eyes. But who knows? It might be good, but I think the nail polish is going to be better! The top 6 in the picture are glitter based. These will be my sister’s favorite, I am more excited about the bottom 6; the four reds to be exact. Just from the names, I already know they’re going to be cute! Here are all 12: Animal-istic, Meep-Meep-Meep, Wocka, Wocka!, Pepe’s Purple Passion, Designer…de Better!, Warm & Fozzie, Rainbow ConnectionExcuse Moi!Gone Gonzo!Fresh Frog of Bel AirDivine SwineGettin’ Miss Piggy With It!. (The glitter polishes are the italicized.) Anyway, my fingernails are dying for these colors. November, hurry up!

FestiveFourth of July Cupcakes. These were super cute and relatively easy to make. I enjoy making things from scratch, but am not a snob about boxed cake mix. I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker.

For the cupcake  batter, mix the following ingredients, then divide the batter into two bowls. Dye one red, then alternate batters in cupcake tins. See below for tips on alternating colored batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

1 Duncan Hines Super Moist White Cake Mix

2 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of milk

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

1 tsp of lemon zest

For the buttercream frosting, beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar with the lowest speed on until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk beat for 3 minutes. Frost cupcakes after they have completely cooled, then garnish with strawberry fans and blueberries.

2 sticks of softened butter

3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp of salt

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 TBS of milk

1 or 2 cartons of strawberries

1 carton of blueberries.

This recipe actually calls for quite a few things that I have never done before.

     Zesting a lemon. I added a hint of lemon flavor in the cake batter by adding lemon zest. You peel off the top layer of the peel, NOT including the white part. The white part tastes bad and will make your cake bitter.

On the left is the wrong way to zest, on the right is the correct way.

After peeling, you mince, then add to your batter.

     Fanning a strawberry. For the garnish on this cupcake, I fanned a strawberry. All you do is cut toward the stem without slicing all the way through.

     Colored batter. You can tell from this picture, that I used red and white batter. I divided the batter in half, dyed one, then alternated. One trick is to have a bowl of water near by to dip your fingers into, so you can spread the batter evenly without it sticking to your fingers.

Summer Reads. Alright, so it’s not new, but since it is summer, I have picked up “reading for pleasure” again. My favorite summer read so far is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It isn’t particularly hard or a complicated plot, but it is a break from vampires. My friend, Zara recommended it to me, and I would recommend it to anyone; however, if you’re not a book person, you can just wait for the movie to come out. Here is the trailer.

On that note of hunger, I think I’ll go have a cupcake.


2 thoughts on “New things.

  1. Thank you for the brownie recipe, Lauren!! Can’t wait to make them!!
    I’m a little surprised you don’t have a ‘zester’! 🙂 I actually use mine all the time! Oxo makes a great one, you should check it out!! 🙂
    Thanks again!

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